Sunday, February 3, 2019



Early morning at Lower Saddle Camp. Sitting out on the cool sandbar sketching the 3 alcoves and the long shadow rolling up the opposing canyon walls.

8 X 22" pencil drawing panorama. Took about an hour or so to lay everything out and design the shapes and landmarks and finish by blocking in the textures.

The sun slowly filled in the canyon and lit up the opposing canyon walls. The giant walls just seem to grow out of the Colorado River.

Guides and crew waking up in the calm green-blue waters. They mostly slept on padded mats stretched out on the oar boat platforms.

Dean washing up and wading into that cool Colorado River water.

Erica preparing breakfast for the rest of the tribe. We all looked forward to a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and whatever our hosts cooked for us. Wash up was a organized job and everyone chipped in.

Cassie rowing away from Lower Saddle camp. Time to yuck it up and tell lots of stories

A pencil drawing of Cassie in a slow drift at around 50 miles down from Lees Ferry, where we started. When you are on a boat and sketching one of the big problems you run into is there just isn't a lot of room so you have to improvise and look for different compositions. The oars are so important in all your movements so I thought to draw out the scene and make that those wet, dripping varnished oars balance out Cassie who is scouting out our next rapid. 

One of my favorite drawings of Cassie pushing the oars on a calm section of the river. I had to really watch the rhythm of how the guides worked so I could capture the best action poses and get the portrait right...especially when the subject would quickly see if it looked like them.

Pencil sketch of geologic formations stacked one upon the other reaching thousand of feet off the river. At this point the Bright Angel shale is being exposed which means the rock down here at this point is about 500 million years old.

The panorama as we swing through Nankoweap Rapid, one of the longest on the Colorado. It takes a 25 foot drop as it moves around this wide bend. Needless to say the beauty of this spot is awe inspiring

The back of Cassies head with that gigantic curtain of stone buttes in front of her. I wanted her hat of hers.

We stopped for lunch and hiked up to the Nanoweap Granaries, an ancient Anasazi site high above the Colorado flowing to the south below. Forgot my camera (and sketchbook!) so I'm using someone else's photo 

Drifting and swirling down this straight away stretch of river. So calm and clear that frequently you could see through the refraction of the green water and look deep to the river bottom and see the boulders sandbars 30 feet below.

Ray, Dean, Erika & ? enjoying one of the calmer moments during the day. Every now and then we would group up the boats and sling them together so we could all talk, spray water at each other and even change over to other boats if we wanted. Mile 56

All the guides seem to have their own fashion sense and definitely no formal uniform on this trip

Approaching the Little Colorado River just downriver from here. Beautiful weather and good friends made up a good portion of this trip. It was late May into June so we weren't roasting like Thanksgiving turkeys. The guides say it can get as hot "as the hinges on the Gates of Hell" in August.

A group of motorized pontoon boats from another river company at the mouth of the Little Colorado. 

Ramparts rise above Anne,Cassie & Ron approaching our camp a little downstream from the Little Colorado

Ink and pencil 8 X 22" drawing of the gigantic cliffs and buttes towering above where the Colorado & Little Colorado meet. The muddy Colorado comes in from the left and collides against the clear robins-egg blue of the Little Colorado. The rain squalls are boiling up to the north. I had to sketch really fast to get everything into this panorama before the showers ruin the drawing.

Our camp right downstream from where the Colorado & Little Colorado River converge. Nice little spot with a grand upslope view of the towering walls and weather

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